You, me, and the whole other rest of this big, gigantic world have one thing in common. No matter who it is, you will find the exact same characteristic in every single person. No, it’s not that we all have the same 99% DNA genetic makeup or that we all have skin on our bones or breath in our lungs. What is it that ties all 7.125 billion of us human beings on this planet together?
We are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)
We all have the handprint of our Maker in the very fiber of our beings – each and every single one of us. Our Creator God is so absolutely enthralled with His creation, that He wanted to stamp Himself, His nature into each of us, whether we know Him or not.
With that, what is the one defining characteristic of God that separates Him from all other “gods”? Our God is a Creator. He alone took something out of nothing and made all of our existence. But, we as humans have the incredible privilege to be God’s image-bearers here on the earth.
Now, within our human experience, most people classify themselves as either “left-brained” or “right-brained” individuals, with the latter being the more “creative” types. While scientifically that may be true, I believe ALL individuals actually have creativity running through their veins.
Whether you are more of a systems person or maybe you enjoy more of the pastoral/relational aspect of things, or maybe you’re even reading this and you are an engineer – accountant – lawyer – doctor – YOU ARE CREATIVE! Why? Because each of these roles are taking something and creating a final product. Think about it: Accountants can take a pile of data and numbers (which makes my brain hurt even trying to think about that – thank you to all the accountants of the world) and create this final, beautiful product called your tax portfolio. They are CREATING masterpieces in their craft!
So why do we have this high honor of getting to engage in creating? I believe it is because each and every time we operate and create in the gifts and talents God’s given us, we are reflecting His beauty here on earth.
In worship ministry, creativity is vital to what we do. Not just coming up with a cool way to restructure a song, but really asking God – “What is the new thing you want to do?”
Our God has ancient ways that will never change, but I believe He releases “new songs” over us all the time.
In the Bible, we see scripture after scripture that talk about singing that “new song.” (You can find a few of those here: https://www.openbible.info/topics/singing_new_songs). I think that those new songs might be literal new songs, but maybe even in a figurative sense – what is the “new song” He wants to release over lives? Over this season? Over our church? Over a specific service/event? Over your area of leadership? Essentially the question is this, “God, what is that new song You want me to sing – what are You saying, right here and right now?”
If you are like me, sometimes it can be very easy to just exist and go through the motions. But our God wants to speak and be integrally connected into every part of what we do. So how do we go about stewarding this amazing gift called creativity?
We must be diligent. I believe diligence is the ultimate key to creativity.
The Oxford Universal Dictionary defines diligence as such: “careful attention, industry, assiduity; unremitting application, persistent endeavor.” A diligent person is described as, “assiduous, industrious, conscientious, thorough; not idle, not negligent, not lazy.” Some big fancy words and a big check in the gut because (at least for me) there are times where I feel like I am not as “industrious” or I feel like I can get a little “idle” with searching out the “new.” Again, it’s easy to just exist.
But it is clear in the Bible that God takes diligence pretty seriously:
-Throughout the Old Testament where God instructed the Israelites to “diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God.” (Deut 6:17)
-All through Proverbs where you see power-packed one-liners like, “Diligence is man’s precious possession.”
-And even a ton of the New Testament speaks of this subject in scriptures like Hebrews 11:6 – “He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
But my favorite example (and the most perfect example) is King Jesus, Himself. He told many parables about stewardship and diligence. He was also the perfect example of what it looked like to walk in diligence –with His relationship with the Father, with His character, with His mission. But Jesus was also the ULTIMATE CREATIVE! He worked tons of creative miracles, He spoke in creative parables, He spoke prophetically, and He even revolutionized what discipleship looked like by taking a group of 12 misfits and making them the most powerful, world-changing team this world has ever seen!
Jesus Himself was the ultimate Creative. But if we study His diligence through the Scriptures, we will see 4 things that I believe we can learn and apply in our own lives as creatives.
Jesus was diligent in His:
- Communion with God.
Jesus had a steadfast, unshakeable relationship with the Father. They are one (John 10:30). Even as Jesus taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done – on earth as it is in Heaven” – Jesus was praying that God’s will, that “new song” whatever it was – would be done on the earth.
Are we truly asking that question? Are we truly communing WITH God? Are we really leaning in and listening to His voice, reading His Word? Is He your best friend and are you inviting Him into every area of your life?
Kingdom-creativity can only come from communion with God, asking and establishing His will on the earth as it is in Heaven.
Jesus’ character was perfect. He was tempted and tested, just like every other human being, but He was perfect! As creatives, it is easy to let our pride and ego get in the way of what we do. We can be territorial, defensive, and downright prideful about our gifts and talents.
But when we study Jesus, He was constantly attributing His power to the Father and continuously gave ministry away to His disciples so that it was not the “one-man-show.”
His heart was to glorify the Father. That should be our hearts as we operate in our creative giftings – that it always, ALWAYS points people straight to God.
This may have been what you immediately thought of when we started the “diligence” discussion. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (that is, whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability). What is your God-given gift? Do it with ALL your might!
For me, I know one of my gifts is songwriting. I love it. I feel like I was put on this earth to do it. But it is so easy to be an “emotional writer,” rather than an “intentional writer.” I felt compelled (convicted, even) to write at least one creative thing every day. So I’ve actually invested in a Journal Bible where I am able to do just that. It gives a little margin on the outside of the Scripture and allows for me to jot down quick little “revvies” that I get as I’m reading. Then oftentimes, I can use those one-liners for songs! So amazing.
So whatever your craft may be, be diligent in honing it! Do a little something to get better everyday!
This may seem a little weird, but diligence in community! Iron sharpens iron. When you allow the right community around you, your creativity can skyrocket! Jesus was all about community and bringing people around Him – whether it was 3, 12, 72, or 5,000 – He always had people around Him who were getting to take part in His creativity!
Who are those people in your life that you are allowing to be part of your creative sphere?
Do you have those who are speaking into your life that can bring constructive criticism? Are you mentoring others in your craft, whatever it may be? Find those people and allow God to move creatively through community!
God is a Creator. God creates creatives. You are His created masterpiece, with the very nature of creating in your being. Ask Him how He wants to move in creative power in your life today. Ask Him what the new song is. Ask Him to speak so that you can be a vessel of His Kingdom coming here on earth.